The sound of a motorcycle rips through a lonely Wyoming night, the pipes of the exhaust bellow out so loud that they upset the elderly and wake up sleeping children. Late night heads turn on the patio of the Silver Dollar bar.
On a steel horse he rides, long into the night, a stop at his favorite watering hole for just a beer and then he’s off again. This time though, “Goose” Conners is heading home to his wife and children after working some long and dangerous hours on the oil rigs. He wears his black vest with a large Gold and Purple emblem on the back. You might recognize it from the large deterrent symbol staring back at you. Do not be afraid though, the man just wants a beer.
The Galloping Goose Motorcycle club was established in 1946 in Los Angeles, in fact they are the very first motorcycle club in America. Most of the establishments are spread all throughout the Midwest. They have their own motto, “Often tested, always faithful.” Some motorcycle clubs over the years have received a bad reputation, despite many providing a sustainable existence to public society and well-being. The infamous and legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson spent many months with the Hell’s Angel’s. Thompson’s style of Gonzo Journalism could sometimes be debated as fiction or just brilliant over the top writing. A little bit of both I suppose.
Whatever it was though, I was heavily inspired by Thompson’s work, as it was the reason I grabbed my good friend and associate Clive to come with me to the Galloping Goose club house in Ralston. I wanted to know more about them, especially after talking to a former employee of mine who was in the club. I asked about the bar, and told him about wanting to write an article for the Cody Enterprise. He agreed, and soon Clive and I were off to Ralston to interview the men themselves. We arrived around 9 p.m. and were greeted at the door by what seemed to be an “elite member.”
We gathered at the bar by a proprietor and were welcomed with an inquiry of our journalistic goal. With one simple gesture we received a lot of answers. We were hardly even in the bar for ten minutes and some members were telling us all about the great history of their club. How much brotherhood and loyalty meant to them, and how they sometimes travel over 15,000 miles a year on their motorcycles.
They were all very friendly to us, and answered nearly all our questions. Then I found out their organization gives to numerous charities. One charity in particular was the organization “Downrange Warriors” that helps veterans get back to living somewhat “normal” lives.
The local bike group is putting on a bike show Saturday at the Rocky Mountain Discount Liquor store to raise funds for the veterans. Sign-ups for that event begin at 10 a.m. and judging begins at 1 p.m. There is an entry fee of 20 dollars for all show participants.
So believe what you want about the Galloping Goose, but just like a priest is to his church, or a veteran is to his country, the Goose are what they have always claimed to be … often tested and always faithful.
(J.T. Currie is from Cody)